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Yakuza among 5 suspects in record seizure of stimulant drugs in Ibaraki

kakuseizai seized off coast of Ibaraki Prefecture
Ibaraki and Tokyo police seized 480 kilograms of stimulant drugs inside a truck in Ibaraki Prefecture on August 22 (TV Asahi)

IBARAKI (TR) – Police divisions from Tokyo and Ibaraki Prefecture on Wednesday announced the arrest of five persons, including an organized crime member, and seizure of more than 30 billion yen in stimulant drugs in the bust of a suspected trafficking ring. The seizure is the largest confiscation nationwide this year, police said, reports Jiji Press (Aug. 30).

On August 22, police accused Atsushi Imaizumi, a 48-year-old member of the Sumiyoshi-kai, and Masami Hosokawa, 60, of possessing 1 kilogram of kakuseizai, or stimulant drugs, for the purpose of trafficking in Hitachinaka City. At the same location, police found 480 kilograms of the same drug, with street value of 30.7 billion yen, inside a truck.

According to investigative sources, it is believed that an international trafficking group was behind the smuggling. A Chinese and Dutch national are among the other suspects in the case. Police suspect the contraband was landed at Hitachinaka via boats operating off the coast.

Largest seizure this year

For stimulant drugs, the seizure represents the largest nationwide this year, and the fourth-biggest on record. The largest confiscation took place in May, 2016, when Okinawa Prefectural Police seized some 597 kilograms of stimulant drugs from a yacht berthed at Naha Port.

Last year, law enforcement in Japan seized near 1,500 kilograms of stimulant drugs, the most since such data began being kept in 2002.